Ex-Sonnet: Something Beneath the Library

The past few nights I’ve dreamt a stair abyss.
Every narrow city was electric.
Technicolor compasses melting under carpets.
It seemed I was a speck of ink on music
Despite the darkened picture frame and wine,
Each animal collapsed black holes in rooms below
And almost hell’s where I’d wake up at day.
Some secret vacations existed in a dictionary
Some soiled taupe school cardigan
Some hiding cosmic threat to waking peace
In catacombs where no child thought to look.
Along the hall which less and less grew worms
My sweat confessed the staircase was a maze
Where every sky became a clean white glaze
The last I slid on a black and cracking bridge.

 

 

Species—Micromphale*

*“Delightful small people but smelling strongly of garlic.”
-Suzanne Lucas: In Praise of Toadstools

Shy little boys cling to the waistcoats
of trees with their caps pulled low.
Little boys run, sending up spores and dust,
they stretch their hyphae
into community pantries

sprouting upwards from volvas (not vulvas)
and skidding their fungal feet into the
neighbors’ Earthen carpets, Into worm-filled upholstery,
Into the sighing screen doors wafting food spores
which graze their Laccarian gills, but their

little-boy mycelium never root. Not in concrete,
tile or pavement, but they float and flay their scales
to fan the ground and dance over fertile soil releasing
from their fruiting bodies: Asci first, basidia when
that won’t work, popping Blisters

in the ground with secret names.
Growing bodies twice their stalk-lengths, bursting through
the annulus, little boys curl, purpling, rebirthed
from dirt, crown bulbous heads like saprophytes,
to eat the neighbors’ cats—or, they bend

brittle-stemmed, shimmer darkly and
sleep outside on beds of moss to dream up
spotty mushroom rings who glisten like the star-
white backs of grubs in twilight dew,
barely beneath the earth’s dark gemstone crust.

“It was found only twice in solitary grace, on earth banks under beeches and quite ravishing with the loveliness of grey and white and a dancing form. Two of the painted group were successive stages of one toadstool.”
-Lucas

Salem’s Redemption

Part two,
You tilt your chin to the singing sun.
Brazenly trudging like the vandal you are
To Middle-ground, bestial, bruised,
Mushrooms ringing your ankles
Like minnows. Thunderstruck,
Bucks started, tagged your black eyes femme macabre,
Receding like seeds from you, Queen of der hexenkries
Nigh woman or girl, but hellion with breasts.
Because clearly you’re Hera
Fair Contessa reigning Amazons
Weaving their pleats with perfume and barbs.

Sanctum

Did you know your 

Inner words your 

swirling sentences 

That they can

they can

steam up

 

steam up your sockets

That they can light up 

You 

And that

You

 

can be 

The light in the room

In lieu of power and 

Rage 

Or for exploding:

Love and shout 

A toast to self 

 

Just the beautiful Your

Reality 

Of that

Which is humanly

And truly 

ocean-deep,

It draws jeers 

And tears all the same-

did you know

that